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Marie-Andrée Gosselin August 14, 2012
This Thursday the students of Laval Montmorency College, on strike since March 13, must return to classes because on Tuesday 70% of them voted to return to class.
The students who met after the vote have all insisted that the fight against rising tuition fees is not over.
“We are not stopping the strike because we have lost or because of Law 78 but because we are in elections.” said Alexandre St-Onge-Perron, a student who openly supports the Parti Quebecois candidate Léo Bureau-Blouin.
Mr. St-Onge-Perron now hopes that the mobilization will continue for the elections on September 4. “I hope that the movement will transform itself,” he said. “I have never heard people my age talk about politics. I hope that the mobilization will make it to political parties and polling stations.”
The General Director of the Montmorency College was relieved by the results of the vote. The continuation of the strike could provoke clashes during the return to classes scheduled for Thursday.
“We know that it would be a painful choice for our students since the major issue has not been settled,” said Denyse Blanchet. “But when we said that we do not have the flexibility to finish the session, it’s really true. We don’t have the means to oppose the law.”
Several return to class
The students of Montmorency College are added to Saint-Jerome Cégep in the Laurentians and Vallyfield College in Montérégie, which voted against continuing the strike last week.
As for Édouard-Montpetit College, the return to classes should take place Wednesday, but a general assembly should be held on September 12th, after the provincial elections.
Meanwhile, the students at Marie-Victorin Cégep and Maisonneuve College in Montreal began their return to classes calmly on Tuesday.
Put an “X” on the session
Furthermore, other students will not return to class any time soon. On Monday, at Vieux-Montréal Cégep, the students voted to continue the strike after several hours of discussion at a general assembly in the school’s gymnasium. On Sunday Saint-Laurent Cégep also extended the strike by a very narrow vote.
The president of the Federation of Quebec Cégeps expressed concern for those who decide to continue the strike. “If you put an “X” on a session in the course of study it is catastrophic. Say that you can’t complete the semester, that has a direct impact on those attending university, those who are finishing a technical DEC (college degree),” explained Jean Beauchesne.
At the University of Sherbrooke, the students of the Faculty of Humanities have decided to vote on the continuation of the strike by referendum in three days.
At the graduate level more than 1,000 students, those in science and education, have decided to suspend the strike during the election campaign. Those in history as well as those in arts and communications have chosen to continue pressure tactics.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.